January 2018

Pushing the “Start” button on autonomous driving will require advances in lidar technology, to increase sensor range and reduce costs. A number of photonics companies are on the case. [Image: Getty Images]

Lidar for Self-Driving Cars

Jeff Hecht

Autonomous vehicles need to monitor everything fixed or moving in their immediate environment. Next-gen lidar will play a vital role in achieving that comprehensive view.

Neuromorphic Photonics

Photonic neural networks have the potential to revolutionize the speed, energy efficiency and throughput of modern computing—and to give Moore’s law–style scaling a new lease on life.

Laser Wakefield Accelerators: Next-Generation Light Sources

A new breed of compact particle accelerators, capable of producing electron-beam energies in the GeV range, could soon bring some of the experimental power of synchrotrons and X-ray free-electron lasers to a tabletop near you.

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